Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Watch the Bible


The Big Idea: Get to know the Bible better watching videos of the Bible as quoted word-for-word.  

See the Gospels Not Just Read Them

In our media driven world we are privileged to have several videos available to us with the Bible read and re-enacted for us word-for word. Here's what it does for us:

  • It lets us view the Bible in a fresh way.
  • We observe customs, the ancient lifestyle, weather, topography of the land and so on.
  • We see the nuance of a glance or a smile, proximity people with Jesus, Jesus’ human emotions.
  • We can visual the story of real people in a real place. Perhaps we identify with a character.
  • We can insert ourselves in the story like a fly on the wall and see what Jesus does.

The current best word-for-word video series

LUMO PROJECT  provides each gospel in full. It is made using Middle Eastern actors with a Bible lands setting. Because of the Middle Eastern actors and direct reading of the Bible, it is easily viewed and translated into many languages. You will find many other languages represented on the YouTube channel. Languages like Bengali, Farsi, and Malagasy. If you have international students in your life, or neighbors or relatives who speak another primary language, this is definitely a resource!

On YouVersion Bible App for free here.

The Lumo Project video channel free here. Search for book and chapter such as "Matthew 5"

Occasionally it is available for free on streaming services, such as Amazon Prime or Netflix. Just check on it.

Here is a sample of Mark 6: 1-29

Other Word-for-Word Videos

The Gospel of John (2003) Distributed by Lions Gate. I enjoy the playful light in the eyes of the one who plays Jesus.


The series, "The Visual Bible" in cooperation with International Bible Society, has produced several excellent productions that are very useful.

The Visual Bible: Matthew (1993)

The Visual Bible: The Acts of the Apostles (1994) I love seeing the book of Acts come to life!

The Gospel According to Luke (1979) is the King James Version being read. It is from New Media Bible. It was released as The Jesus Film Project. This also has been dubbed into many languages and is still widely available. When I was a missionary in Guinea, West Africa, this film was shown widely. It was often the first time for many to hear about Jesus. The website "Blue Letter Bible" has it broken down into chapter by chapter of Luke here.

Biblical Movies Adapted

It is important to be aware of a couple factors concerning adaptive text Biblical movies compared to the word-for-word Biblical movies. These movies create dialogue because a lot of the Bible is narration. The Scriptures are not written like a screenplay. These movies take creative license in their desire to create an engaging story creating conversations that might or might not have happened.

These conversations inserted to the story in addition to the Biblical text are man's interpretation. It might even unknowingly reflect bias.  It is harder to translate these into other languages because of idioms and other modern Western influence though unintentional.

On the other hand, sometimes the woven story gives a very good picture of what might have plausibly happened. The accuracy to Biblical truth depends on the seriousness of the writers and producers. Do they make efforts be true to the scriptures and with good, faithful Biblical background to the original text, cultural context and customs of the day?  Done well, these films can help us have a much better picture and understanding of the context in which the Bible was written.

Before you watch an adapted movie double check who backs the production.  Ask spiritually mature Christians what they think of the adaptation. Opinions may vary but it is valuable to discuss it. You may find these trustworthy opinions online on a Christian website such as through Plugged in: Focus on the Family or Christianity Today, for instance. Usually if a Bible publishing house backs a movie that is a very good sign.

While watching, consider what you know what the whole Bible says and (Scripture interprets Scripture) what you know to be true of God. Create discussion with pastors, teachers and good Christian friends on the portrayal. Ask yourself what you think is the intent of the film for a take away.

I recently read an article from a movie review site ( that stated that Christians prefer accuracy the most when it comes to films about the Bible. I agree. God's character and our understanding of God is at stake!

An Excellent Referral

The Chosen is a current crowd-sourced TV series about the life of Christ. This is not at all a word-for-word rendition. There are back stories and storylines developed to create understanding. Some of this is conjecture. However, the producer of this series truly wants to get it right, prays Christ is portrayed correctly and humbly seeks good counsel for accuracy. I am encouraged with it’s faithfulness. I am blown away by it and often moved to tears. Please feel free to check it out and consider supporting its production.  

We could go one by one through some of the many films of recent years giving a grade. There are a couple that surface as best. Sometimes a movie will provide good background information of the Bible to us in a sort of back story of the times. However if it steers us in the wrong direction about the Bible or tries to present a half truth about God, we are in trouble.

Perhaps this is a good subject for another day!

Up Next: Why Read the Bible?

Previous Post: 10 YouVersion Tips



1. Have you ever tried watching a chapter or two of a passage instead of reading it? How did it impact you differently than just reading it on paper? With YouTube and YouVersion it is very accessible now.

2. How would YOU proceed to check the accuracy of a film related to the Bible? Who might you ask or what site might you check out?

3. Is there a Bible based movie or an episode of "The Chosen" that you absolutely love? What truth touched you in the story? What did it show you about God?


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

10 YouVersion Tips


The Big Idea: Many use the YouVersion Bible App but aren't aware of some great features.

Millions of people have already discovered the totally free YouVersionBible App. That might be you too! But did you know there are a number of options available in the app? Check out this list and see if there is something new for you to try! God's Word is worth the effort!

1. Listen to an audio version of the Bible

Not all translations have an audio version, but quite a few do. Some foreign languages do too but not all. Listening to the Bible is a fresh way to take it in. My husband is listening to the Bible as his read-through-the Bible in a year.  Another friend of mine caring for someone in her life, finds she is awoke often in the night. She listens to the Bible while helping her family member, and often falls back asleep to the Bible. As you scroll through the list of translations, you will see a sound icon next to versions available in audio. 


2. Side by side Bible translations

There are times when it is useful to look at two different Bible translations at the same time for comparison. For instance, your pastor may preach using one translation and you may appreciate to compare the verse in the version you usually read. Translation comparison can be a passage on a tablet or on the computer. It is only available by verse with a cell phone.


3. Enlarge the font for a large print Bible

If you are getting older or have poor sight, you can enlarge the type very easily. It is lighter weight than a ponderous large text Bible, and available in all translations, even with other languages.

4. Find a ready-made Bible reading plan

YouVersion has partnered with many organizations to provide Bible reading plans. There are plans available to read the Bible through in a year, with numerous options.  Some are chronological. Some have shorter passages with a devotional thought. You can start at any time, not just on January first.

Of course there are also shorter plans. Some are one month long, a week long, and anything else that fits for you.

5. Read the Bible focused on a topic or issue

Above is a sample list of emotions with readings that address whatever you might feel a need for. If you are struggling right now, this is a great way to kick start getting back into the Bible to see what God has for you today. Many plans have a devotional thought included. Some are short. Some are long. Some have links to useful websites.

There are very specific groups addressed. Men. Women. Teens.  Going through a divorce. Addiction.  Losing a job. Finance.  Parenting littles. Parenting teens. So many options interesting to scroll through.


6. Watch a Bible Video enhancing understanding

There are Bible Videos that are word for word passages re-enacted, such as the Gospel series by LUMO. Each episode of the Chosen is available though it is not word for word Scripture. There are tools for better understanding such as the BibleProject videos for each book of the Bible, themes, key words, and so on. The Spoken Word videos are dramatic, meaningful readings. There are lots more video series. Additionally there are teachings by well appreciated  Bible teachers under the category "Discovery". Check out your options.


7. Use the highlights, notes and sharing features

You can copy verses to import into another program if you are a Bible study leader or preacher, and make your own notes for future study. You can also add notes to a verse as you are taking sermon notes.  There are fewer choices online than with the tablet and cell phone apps. You can edit your notes, bookmarks, images, etc. when you click on the wheel at the upper right corner of the app for settings.

8. Prayer resource

Your tablet and cell phone version has an option that the computer app does not have, to form a prayer. It even coaches you through ideas what to prayer for. You can send it to a friend or just leave it for your own journaling memory. You find the menu on the left when you click on the More category at the bottom of your screen.


9. Make verse art of a verse

The tablet and cell phone version let's you underline a verse and then choose to make an image. You can use their images or import one of your own. You can then download it to your phone and use it as a lock screen or share with friends.


10. Subscribe to the verse of the day

The home page always shows you the featured verse of the day. You would be surprised  how often  you will tell yourself how much you needed to hear that! In the settings page you can change the version you would like for this feature. Make your own image with the verse or use one they have already made from it. A daily scriptural reminder is always a good thing! Take a moment during the day to pray the verse for your life or reflect on its meaning for you. It is a mini-devotional moment that will honor God. He likes it when you take time to reflect on His Word!

I hope this detailed list of ideas for YouVersion was helpful for you. Leave a comment on how you use the YouVersion Bible app. Inspire others with your suggestion.

Up Next: Watch the Bible

Previous Post: My 5 Favorite Bible Apps



1. How do you feel about an electronic Bible? Do you like it or avoid it? When might it be helpful to use?

2. Is there one feature you were not aware of that you might like to experiment with or try out to enhance your reading of God's Word?

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

My 5 Favorite Bible Apps


The Big Idea: Many use YouVersion Bible App but are unaware of some great features of other Bible Apps.

 Most likely you already know about at least one of these great online Bibles and Bible Apps. Let me introduce you to the ones I go to the most quickly. Clearly they each have their strengths for different situations. On a basic level they are all free. Some have a "Plus" plan you pay for which includes a lot more resources and features. A couple have devotional reading plans. Several are in multiple languages. Take some time to explore each one and get to know what they have to offer for free! There is nothing like a paper Bible in your hand. But having a Bible available everywhere you have your phone, or looking up a Bible dictionary anywhere is quite a tool available, unique to our era. 

Get into God's Word today! - Simply the Bible and suggested ways to get into the Bible. More than 200 versions and 70 languages. Partners with many publishing houses and organizations.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

7-Powerful Scripture: Bible Survival

The Big Idea: Today's post pulls together the ideas and verses from the Bible that can help us fight all kinds of temptation.

Ten ways Scripture can help fight temptation

God's Word is powerful! No matter what temptation you face, you can use verses from the Bible to help you combat any situation with words of strength.

1. Pray to the Lord and ask Him for help (Proverbs 30:7-9, Matthew 26:41)

O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name. Proverbs 30:7-9

Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” Matthew 26:41

2. Run from sin! Stay away! Resist! (1 Corinthians 6:19, I Thessalonians 4:3, James 4:7)

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself. 1 Corinthians 6:19

God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. I Thessalonians 4:3

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

3. Don't let it control you and leave it to God (Ps 4:4, Eph 4:26, Romans 12:9)

Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Psalm 4:4

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.”Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry. Ephesians 4:26

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Romans 12:9

4. Use God's weapons against false reasoning and arguments (2 Corinthians 10:4)

We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 2 Corinthians 10:4

5. Don't get taken up with empty philosophies, nonsense (Colossians 2:8)

Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. Colossians 2:8

6. Avoid foolish arguments and foolish discussion (I Timothy 6:20, 2 Timothy 2:16, I Corinthians 2:14, Eph 5:4)

Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge. I Timothy 6:20

Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior. 2 Timothy 2:16

But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. I Corinthians 2:14

Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. Ephesians 5:4

7. Ask God to search your thought life (Psalms 139:1-3, Matthew 15:19)

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. Psalm 139:1-3

For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. Matthew 15:19

8. Ask God to transform your thought life. (Romans 12:2. Ephesians 4:23, Philippians 4:8)

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Ephesians 4:23

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8

9. Resist the powers of darkness (Ephesians 6:13)

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Ephesians 6:13

Humble yourself before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

10. Put on the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:13)

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Ephesians 6:13

May the Lord bless you in whatever situation you find yourself in today. Lean on His Word for every temptation.

Feedback is welcomed. I want this blog to be useful to you. The intent is to teach you to use the Bible to live victoriously.

Up Next: My 5 Favorite Bible Apps

Previous Post: Foolish Talk